Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bokusan and the angry Samurai


During the dark times of the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate in nineteenth century Japan, (As described in the movie "The last Samurai") a fugitive samurai had taken refuge in a Zen temple ruled by Zen master Nishiari Bokusan
Three samurai from the other army arrived and demanded to be told where the fugitive was. 

"There is nobody here," said the Zen master.
"If you won't tell us,then we'll chop your head off" and they drew their swords. 
"Well if I am to die," said the Zen master, " Then I think I'll have some Sake."
He took a small bottle of Sake, poured it, and sipped it with great pleasure. 

The puzzled samurai looked at one another and left...

Master Bokusan once said about this incident :

"Well, you can learn something from it : When those guys came, I did not do what they wanted, but neither did I argue or plead with them. I just gave up their whole world and had nothing to do with them. And after a while they were gone."

"Similarly when you complain that you are overwhelmed with passions and bad  thoughts, you should know that the proper way is not to quarrel, plead or argue. Just give up their world and have nothing to do with them.  After a while you will see that they have gone away."



 

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